MasteringEngineering, University of Gaziantep, Turkey

University of Gaziantep, Turkey
Submitted by: Mustafa Ozakca and Nildem Taysi, Department of Civil Engineering
These University of Gaziantep lecturers have implemented MasteringEngineering
for summative assessment and also encourage students to use the eLearning
materials in the system. They believe, although can’t prove, that the use of
MasteringEngineering has contributed to a 30% increase in final grades.
Type of data collected
Solid Mechanics
Textbook in use
During this period
Mechanics of Materials, 8th edition
Course design
The Department of Civil Engineering at the University
of Gaziantep has an annual intake of approximately 80
undergraduate and 80 postgraduate students. All second
year civil engineering students take solid mechanics as a
core course during their third semester which lasts for 16
The course comprises lectures, supervised training
and self-study. The primary aim of the teaching is to
encourage and support the students’ self-study. Emphasis
is put on the use of MasteringEngineering. Students
take two mid-term exams, 7 homeworks and quizzes
(which make up 20% of the final grade) and one final
exam. All homeworks and quizzes are delivered using
The students’ previous knowledge and experience
is varied, as some students will not have studied any
mechanics modules within their physics course(s),
whereas others may have studied at intermediate level.
Prior to 2011, this course was taught in a very traditional
manner with 4 hour-long lectures per week supported
by bi-weekly homework. Unfortunately it suffered from
relatively poor examination results and mediocre student
feedback compared with the other courses. We identified
the following issues to be addressed:
• The traditional lecture format allows for little
interaction with large classes and no opportunities
for collaboration with other students.
• Students cannot always attend lectures and need
flexibility due to work, family or lifestyle; many are
from non-English speaking backgrounds or have
special learning needs.
To address some of these issues, in 2011-12, we radically
changed the delivery of the course by implementing
web-based technology. For this, we introduced
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We use MasteringEngineering as a study tool to
complement face-to-face lectures. All students are
required to purchase a MasteringEngineering access
code. More than 90% of students purchase a code; the
university and bookstore help the remaining 10% to
obtain access.
After the lecture the students are required to develop
their own understanding by studying the course material
which is available online within MasteringEngineering.
A rich suite of e-learning material is provided.
Once the students feel that they have a reasonable
understanding of a chapter, they are required to do
a MasteringEngineering assignment which consists
of between 5-10 problems selected from the
MasteringEngineering problem library.
Students are required to submit their weekly assignments
by 11.00pm on Monday. There were 7 homework and
quiz assignments which in total were worth 20% of the
module marks.
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Course results
• MasteringEngineering will change the way students
learn and teachers teach: students used the tools
The majority of students believed MasteringEngineering
to help revise for exams, review complex materials,
helped them to achieve better results in their units. More
work at their own pace and place of convenience,
than 75% of students believed using the technology made
pick up on things that they missed in class, go back
it easier for them to learn.
and take comprehensive notes after
the lecture so they can concentrate
More than 75% of students believed using the technology made
on what is happening in the lecture.
it easier for them to learn.
We have little statistical evidence available to
make judgements about the effectiveness of
MasteringEngineering but do believe that it allows
students to review and add points that they may
have missed, to their lecture notes. Indeed, when
we compared the last 2 terms’ grades (when using
MasteringEngineering) with the previous terms, there has
been approximately a 30% improvement in the students’
final grade.
M. Gosper, D. Green, M. McNeill, R. Phillips, G. Preston
and K. Woo “The Impact of Web-Based Lecture
Technologies on Current and Future Practices in Learning
and Teaching”,
htm, April 2008.
Conclusions and lessons learned
• Technical support for staff and students is necessary
to ensure they can use new technologies; pedagogical
support is necessary to ensure effective integration
of MasteringEngineering into the course; and learning
support is necessary to ensure students make the
most effective use of the tools provided.
• Universities will need to provide support and
encouragement for their use of technologies in
learning and teaching. Professional development
is essential to enable staff to explore these new
technologies and appreciate how they support the
learning and teaching process.
• Students appreciate the flexibility in access and
support for learning offered by MasteringEngineering,
while also viewing lectures as
important to their learning.
Students appreciate the flexibility in access and support for
They found lectures motivating,
learning offered by MasteringEngineering.
they valued contact with the
lecturers and their peers and
they found the visual aids helpful. Importantly, the use
of MasteringEngineering did not necessarily exclude
lecture attendance. Indeed, some students indicated
that they often ‘double up’ by attending lectures and
listening to the recordings.
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